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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Tuesday - September 15, 2009

From: DeSoto, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Identifying native grasses in DeSoto TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I want to plant my 1.5 acre yard in a native grass; there are already some grasses growing there. How do I identify this grass? Thanks

ANSWER:

We will give you two avenues for identifying the grasses you already have; some of which may be non-native and not what you want, but many will be native and work in well with your plans. Since you are in North Central Texas, Dallas County, go first to our Recommended Species, click on North Central Texas on the map, under "General Appearance" select "Grass/Grasslike." This will give you 13 grasses to look at, which you can do by clicking on the link on the list, which will take you to the page with information on that grass. Click on the thumbnail picture on the list, and you will go to a page of pictures of that grass. Click on any picture on that page and you will get an enlarged pictures. If you want to look at more grasses native to Texas, you can go to our Native Plant Database and follow pretty much the same procedure. The problem there is that this will give you 364 possibilities, many of them not growing naturally in North Central Texas at all.

If you are really interested in grass identification, check the Bibliography below for books you might purchase or find in the library, all on the subject of identification of grasses. Click on any title for more information and commercial availability of the book.

Finally, you can contact the Texas A&M AgriLIFE Extension Office for Urban Programs Dallas County, and inquire about information on local area grasses. If they give you a list, you can return to our database, searching on common or scientific names, to get more information. Remember, though, our database contains only plants native to North America, and many of the grasses you encounter may be non-native and even invasive, so you won't want to retain them in your garden. 

 

 

 

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Flowering Deer Resistant Ground Cover for Dry Rocky Soil: Alabama
March 26, 2012 - My question has been partially answered in the FAQ but I live in Birmingham where the soil is clay and rocky so it's a little different. I want to plant on a rocky slope (small rocks like the size of...
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Ground cover under Spruces from West Chester PA
December 06, 2012 - Trying to get a native groundcover (or any grass/wildflower/fern) planting established under a small stand of spruces. Established stand (30+ years old), so lots of needles on ground. Just about tot...
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Flowering native perennials for St. Louis
August 09, 2007 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I'm trying to landscape a yard that sits on rocky clay soil in St. Louis, MO. The front yard has been difficult because of its brutal southern exposure - the afternoon sun ...
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Cottage-style landscaping for Chesapeake VA
August 02, 2012 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plant staff, I recently moved into a cottage style home that has a poured concrete/paver patio. I am trying to come up with ideas for plantings that would 1. give me a bit of privacy,...
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Is Sedum recommended for a greenroof project in Houston
July 23, 2008 - Would you recommend using Sedum for a green roof project in Houston, Texas? Will the humidity effect the sedum? If sedum would be a poor choice, what would you recommend for Houston?
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Bibliography

Common Texas Grasses: An Illustrated Guide (1978) Gould, F. W.

Grasses of Southwestern United States (1993) Gould, F.W.

Grasses of Texas (1975) Gould, F. W.

Grasses of the Texas Hill Country (2006) Loflin, B & Loflin, S.

Grasslands (1985) Brown, L.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

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